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Old 21st January 2008, 11:18   #1
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Default A Whirlwind trip to Scenic places around KA / KL Border

Friends,
This is My first travelogue .Till this time, After my trips I will write the detailed info in a mail and send it to my friends & hence I am not sure whether this is too lengthy Or important points which normally people expect are covered in this. Please feel free to post you comments so that I could do a proper write-up going forward. Last week-end we thought of visiting all the places around Nagarhole for a change as already we visited Nagarhole / Iruppu few times before. As Stated in my other post I just have 5 months of driving experience and I bought my first car Santro 5 months back.
Last saturday we started at 8 am , and drove from Mysore to HD Kote (Excellent SH-33 road) and continued straight.And Around 12 kms from HD kote (Bypass), there is 1 left turn which will lead to Kabini dam - 10 kms (As we visited that place already), we drove straight towards karapura. Just before Karapura , there was a big sign board , "Take Diversion<----" and I took the left and that's it , Road became normal and We saw a Signboard "Jungle Lodges & Resorts" " Cicada Resorts" 3 kms <-------. As our destination is different we took the right turn and Road became bad to worst and for another 25 kms or so, road is so pathetic .



But we were inside the forests which was a good thing. We spotted few elephants, Wild Squirrel , Monkeys etc.


And for next 25 kms , we saw 2 Kerala RTC buses & 2 Karnataka RTC buses from the opposite side & few Kerala Style Jeeps. Drove this stretch in 2nd Gear and very few times in 3 rd gear. Somehow we reached the Karnataka border, and We took right turn and saw a board "Welcome to Kerala" , Followed by another board "Welcome to Wayanad Sanctuary" .


Road was good again and drove straight towards Mananthavady. Just 10 kms before Manathavady, there is a Clear Signboard saying "Thirunelli Temple 18 kms ----->" . We took the road, and that's a scenic road with Teakwood / Rosewood(?!) in both sides. After 7kms, again a signboard "Thirunelli Temple <------ 11kms". The road was awesome and except one Private bus nothing we saw on the way . Both the sides, Eucalyptus trees were there and we reached the Thirunelli temple and heard Temple is closed and again it will open at 5.30 pm. So we decided to just climb up the stairs and saw the beautiful "Brahmagiri" hills and Thirunelli temple surrounds itself is so scenic and satisfying. Had Lunch (Which we brought from mysore). Anyway , a Decent Temple Guesthouse , 1 vegetarian hotel was there. And Thirunelli is the Base point for Trekking to Pakshishtalam (7 kms) Or Trekking to Brahmagiri. If anybody is interested in this trekking, permission need to get from the Forest office (Which was around 6 kms on the way to thirunelli).




We started and reached the Main road (From where we took the detour) and turn left this time and Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary is just 7 kms(Near to - Not sure as I forgot to note down ) and again monkeys on the road and "Coffee Estates" replaced "Eucalyptus / Rosewood trees and We know we were nearing Coorg..


Tholpetty wildlife safari timings is 7 - 9 & 3- 5 and there were Jeeps (private) available on the entrance itself. If we have 4 WD vehicle, we will be allowed inside the sanctuary and a Forest personnel will accompany us. Just I took the photograph of Tholpetty Entrace and drove straight to Kutta (Kutta - Kodagu District is just 5 kms from tholpetty). Once we reached Karnataka, again the road was poor and drove straight Via Kutta. After 5 kms from kutta, there is a sign in Kannada /English "<---- Iruppu 7 kms" but we ignored that as in our previous trip we took this road and it's hardcore pathetic all through. Drove Straight and may be after 10 kms or so again a signboard "<----- Iruppu 9 kms" and we took that road. Road is fine and towards the end it was again poor and we reached the picturesque Iruppu Falls (There won't be any proper sign board saying iruppu falls is just behind the Temple but that's the spot). We parked the car there and after 10 rs Entrance ticket we walked that 1 km to see the iruppu falls and it was good . Yes , when compared to Shivsamudra this may be nothing but this is more a Scenic kind of rather than Tall waterfalls.After Visiting the temple (Temple is so good & I took few photos inside the temple complex covering the Brahmagiri Mountains).




We travelled back on the same route and after crossing Kutta There will be 2 roads , Left leading to Nagarhole and Right leading to Tholpetty / Mananthavady and proper sign board was not there at this place. It's better to Enquire at this place.

We contniued straight and after 7 kms or so , Nagarhole NP entrance was there . Afer signing (basically the forest dept guard will ask for our Vehicle number and Driver name (for what Iam not sure thou) & also the number of passengers + From , Where to .


We drove straight and this was the 5 th time through the Nagarhole (And I think aroud Aug / Sep start was ideal to visit ) as When we visited Around August 1st week, we saw a lot of animals (Elephant herds, elephant, few 10s of Deer, Wild Boar, Peacock), Second visit around August 4 th week & in october / November trips, we were able to see animals after getting into the Safari (Organized by Nagarhole NP People) . It's 95 rs /person and the Safari timings were 6- 9 & 3 -5. It's advisable to be there around 12 if at all if you prefer evening Safari as unlike Bandipur /Mudumalai , these folks operate only 1 Van(With capacity of 30) and each trip is real good and it was around 1 1/2 hours .So if you were late or crowd was there you need to wait till the Van is back & They are very strict in timings too . 3 - 5 means they adhere to and in one of our prior trips we reached at 9.30 and waited all day till 3 to get into the safari. One of the best maintained Sanctuary I suppose as I almost visited all the south indian sanctuaries, but the chances of spotting animals were always more here and there is no expectation of money or making a short trip onto the forests as forest Safari just for sake of it (Which I experienced in Mudumalai twice). And another important pointer which might help visitors is , in the Kutta end, "All Male" Group were stopped and asked few extra questions and when we were allowed, 2 KL registered Vans were turned down saying , "Come at exactly 2.45 as the safari is only at 3 and we can't leave you in now . Time was around 2 I suppose)

We drove straight and took a right turn (for HD kote) whereas the Straight road leads to Hunsur . From Nagarhole, Mysore is nearer via HD kote But if you prefer good accomoation or Restaurants, you could drive staight on hunusur road . We were back around 6 pm.



Route We have taken:
Mysore- HD kote- Karapura(Kabini)-Wayanad WLS-Thirunelli - Tholpetty WLS-Kutta-Iruppu Falls-Kutta-Nagarhole WLS-HD kote- Mysore (End-to-End 250 kms)


General info:-
1) Nagarhole NP can be reached in the following routes & I did all the routes till now.
From Bangalore:
1.Bangalore- Mandya-Srirangapatna(turn right 2 kms after Srirangapatna towards Ranganathittu Bird sanctuary and just drive past without turning another right which actually leads to Ranganathittu)-Hunsur
2.Turn into Hunsur town , ride past and Nagarhole is around 50 kms. After few kms , you could see a clear Signboard "-----> Nagarhole NP 47 kms"
From Mysore:

Route 1 :-

1. Mysore-HD Kote-Need to turn second Left from HD kote Bus stand (No Signboards will be there)-Nagarhole Forest Dept gate
2.28 kms drive thru forests to reach the Forest Office from where safari starts.From Forest Dept Gate,After 7 kms,you need to turn Left as the right turn will lead to hunsur (No Signboards will be there)

Route 2:-

1.Mysore-Hunsur.
2.Turn into Hunsur town , ride past and Nagarhole is around 50 kms. After few kms , you could see a clear Signboard -----> Nagarhole NP 47 kms

Route 3:-

1.Mysore-Hunsur-Hunsur Bypass
2.Continue Straight in Madeikeri Highway and a sign board will be there "Virajpet / Gonikoppal <--------".We need to turn left and this road is just average
3.Once you reach Anehosur, roads are real good & this is also sanctuary, drive past and you will reach Gonikoppal.
4.Before Gonikoppal bus stand,there will be 2 roads one via iruppu and another 12 kms or less which is more of direct to Nagarhole NP .Both roads are equally bad.Drive past and you will reach Srimangala . After Srimangala there will be 2 roads one via iruppu and another 12 kms or less which is more of direct to Nagarhole NP .Both roads are equally bad.
This route is predominantly for "Scenic Drive thru South coorg via iruppu to Nagarhole and this is definitely a lenghty route from Mysore.

From Ooty:-

1.Ooty-Mudumalai-Bandipur-Gundlupet
2.15 kms before Nanjangodu, there will be a sign board saying " <------ Kabini 50kms Nagarhole NP 87 kms)
This route is for information purpose & I never experienced this route on my own.

Hope this is informative ..
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Old 21st January 2008, 11:59   #2
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Your report is very informative, to say the least. The summarized route information will be very helpful to those who intend to explore these regions.

A good start, hope to see more travelogues from you..

Some of the pics are a bit shaky and out of focus. Maybe your camera is not suited for taking pics on the move.
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Old 21st January 2008, 12:17   #3
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Good Write up and will help travel enthusiasts like me who plan on such a trip there. Some pics are a bit shaky but on a lighter note maybe some jumbos in and around might be the reason for you to snap in a bit fast . Just kidding, drive safe and have fun dude.
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Old 21st January 2008, 14:00   #4
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Thanks for your feedback Maverick & Jay. I have just used My Nokia N70 for taking the photos due to which the photos were not good . Shortly I am planning to buy Digicam to avoid this kind of Shaky photos.
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Old 8th April 2008, 19:05   #5
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Quote:
1. Mysore-HD Kote-Need to turn second Left from HD kote Bus stand (No Signboards will be there)-Nagarhole Forest Dept gate
2.28 kms drive thru forests to reach the Forest Office from where safari starts.From Forest Dept Gate,After 7 kms,you need to turn Left as the right turn will lead to hunsur (No Signboards will be there)
Couldn't understand the second point.
How far is Nagarahole Forest checkpost from HD Kote. I guess the 28 KMs forest drive starts after the checkpost

I have been through the Hunsur route, would like to explore HD Kote route also.
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Old 9th April 2008, 16:25   #6
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From HD kote Bus stand, the forest department gate will be around 20 kms . This Long week-end we did a long trip across corrg /wayanad & Kannur and we took this route only back to mysore. After Rahul gandhi's visit, the road inside nagarhole forests is really good (previously around 10 kms road is worst).

Compared to Hunsur- Nagarhole , HD Kote- Nagarhole is more scenic and after the forest dept gate the 7 kms distance , probability of sighting elephant is more as almost 70% of people will take only hunasur route.

And Last , From the forest dept gate , go straight and we need to take left turn to Reach Nagarhole and the right turn will lead to hunasur (NO Sign Board will be there here& Hence this is an important point)
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